Yes, I wasted a few hours yesterday afternoon watching Rick Pitino’s Cardinals stink things up in Milwaukee yesterday. The Cards looked awesome for about 3 minutes, building an 18-2 lead, but then reverted back to form, missing shots, turning the ball over and generally playing an uninspired brand of basketball. The outcome was never in doubt in the 2nd half, with the final coming at 74-63.
For those of use who thought maybe this team had hit bottom in losing by 31 at Providence. It’s not. U of L has no scoring threat outside of Russ Smith, and with Kyle Kuric sidelined I don’t see them beating anybody in the Big East. This team won’t sniff the Top 25 again, and will be lucky to make the NCAA Tournament.
Basketball fans around here would have been more entertained at Knights Hall last night, where Coach Scott Davenport’s guys played a brilliant game and won 64-60. They’re 14-1 and ranked 3rd in the country. Purists love Bellearmine hoops, and Davenport is being talked about for bigger jobs, most notably the opening at Western Kentucky.
Our friend John Witten, who knows a thing or two about the game, contrasted the two programs in a Facebook post last night, which is worth sharing:
How refreshing as a basketball fan it was tonight to be able to watch a team execute an offense, instead of a team that is offensive to watch and should be executed. Tonight’s Bellarmine basketball game against Northern Kentucky was just that. A hard fought battle against conference foes that played an exciting brand of basketball. The brand of basketball that area basketball fans would applaud. Pressing, running, offensive execution and what is most impressive and appreciated by me is the performance of players that demonstrate that their coach has actually taught them something. They execute well designed offensive plays as well as Coach Davenport’s mentor Denny Crum. Especially following timeouts. Let’s not forget the defense. You see and hear the Bellarmine players continually communicating with hand jesters as well as verbal communication for help when needed and notification to a teammate that he does have help if needed.
What a breath of fresh air Coach Davenport and his team brings to the community, It sure beats the gagging of the “Smoke and Mirrors” that i have come so accustom to experiencing the last 11 seasons down the street.
There’s no end in sight for the Cardinals’ downward spiral, and Davenport’s defending national champs are on track to repeat.